After weeks of hyping their planned “spring offensive” against ISIS in Iraq, capped off with the capture of the major city of Mosul, the Pentagon is now said to have taken the plan entirely off the table on the grounds that Iraqi troops probably wouldn’t win.
“We don’t want to do anything until they are ready and can win decisively,” one Pentagon official explained, “they cannot now.” Apparently, Centcom announced the intention to carry out this attack before considering if it was winnable.
The Centcom announcement was met with a flurry of opposition from Iraqi and Kurdish officials, who noted they weren’t nearly ready for such a battle. Concern about another massive refugee crisis being created by the attack likely also played a role.
Pentagon officials are now saying that the invasion is being pushed back until at least autumn, though even that is tentative, and likely based on extremely optimistic timetables for getting the Iraqi military back into fighting form.